Sweat sticks to you. Bright light beats down upon you. You’re not ready.
“Of course I’m not ready,” you tell yourself, “It’s Improv.”
Somehow, that doesn’t calm you down. In fact, it makes you feel worse.
“I’m not ready,” you think, “And they know I’m not ready.”
They. Them. The ones out there. How many are in the darkness? Ten? A hundred? Twenty-three thousand? It doesn’t really matter. No matter what, it’s hard to breathe. And anyway, twenty-three thousand is an incredibly unlikely number of people. And also it’s oddly specific. Where did that come from?
But let us move past that distraction.
“Can I get an opening line of dialogue for [insert
victim cast member’s name here]?” your Improv Troupe’s ringleader says.
“How could you do this to me? I thought we were butt buddies!” a frat boy yells out from the audience.
“haHA! Butts!” his bro-friend yells.
“Butts? You guys are hiLARious!” the third bro-friend yells, not wanting to be left out.
“Haha,” you think, “Poor schmuck. That’s going to be an awful scene.”
“Can I get a body position for [your name here]?”
“Oh [insert your favorite piece of profanity here]” you think to yourself.
“Butts!” the third frat boy yells out, certain he’s a genius.
“Can we get a body position?” the ringleader asks again.
“As if washing dishes,” another audience member yells.
“Wow, dishes. THAT’S a topic filled with humor,” you think to yourself, stepping out of the line of your peers and walking even further into the limelight, even closer to THEM, “What’s funny about dishes? They rhyme with fishes, and wishes. Rhymes are funny, right? Maybe I should rub the plate on my butt.”
“How could you do this to me?” your co-actor says, a bit of a smirk breaking out onto his face, “I thought we were butt buddies!”
“We were, Timothy. We were. But I’m sorry. I just can’t love a monkey anymore. It just ain’t natural!”
The audience laughs. You relax.
Within minutes, you forget you were frightened at all.
That’s the way it always goes, isn’t it?